jpj5955 Asked March 2012

How to deal with a mom that does nothing all day but sit and read?

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My mother moved in about 3yrs. ago with us. She does absulutly nothing all day but sit in a chair and read or watch tv. It drives me nuts! She is very capable of doing most anything. My husband, son and I all work, plus rehab houses. In other words we are very busy 7 days a week. There is not even a offer to make a meal, clean the kitchen, or ask if there is something she can do to help.
We don't expect her to be a maid. But get off her butt. The more she sits, the more health issues she has. She has diabetes so being sedimentary is not good. Doesn't walk coz it hurts, doesn't excerise coz out of breath, doesn't watch diet coz it's not enough food to eat healthy. Just sit and do nothing!! The result is I am resentful and crabby most days. I want my home and life back!

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MSLEAH Feb 2014
I am an older 'mother'. lost two loves been alone ever since-don't know how to 'move on' at my age; kids grown with familys of their own--was always alone-not a socialite, seems everything out there is for people on verge of dying, I am not on death row-YET. I want to LIVE rest of my days, hopefully shared with one last love ..but LIVING, not sitting on a couch or in a chair wasteing away in front of my children...but HOW do I find that path? HOW do I make that step? Find Like-minded people that will help me and enjoy the walk with me ? ANY HELP OR SUGGESTIONS appreciated.
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RubyKaye Feb 2014
Remind her that there are a lot of people her age that would love to be able to still be active. I wish my mother could.
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What would I have done with a mom that did nothing but sit and read all day? I'd be on my knees thanking God, that's what.
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Stressed52 Jan 2014
I know how you feel, my problem isn't with my Mom, she is 85 and has dementia and it is difficult for her to stay on task.....my complaint is with my sister (66) and daughter (20) who do NOTHING to help. My sister seems to feel that since I am POA I can handle everything and all she has to do is come home, eat, bathe and go to bed. Sorry to say, but that is about the same as my daughter. I can force my daughter to help but getting help from my sister is not happening. Somehow I have become the unpaid housekeeper, gardener, janitor, cook, laundress, etc. and they literally never lift a finger!

As for your Mom, why don't you sit down and talk with her at a time you are not angry and explain that you are dead dog tired and at your wits end. Explain that you desperately NEED her help....Mom please, I need you to help out during the day, by washing the dishes, run the vacuum, dust, pick up, etc. Explain that you understand that she has medical problems but tell her that you need her to get up and do as much as humanly possible to help you to lessen your load. Sometimes I find that even with my mother, if I approach her by asking for a "favor" or "help" she will get up and help me. Wish that worked on the others!!!!

Best of Luck, I know your frustration!!!
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JessieBelle Jan 2014
Many of us have this problem. Do you feel that your parent sees you as a slave? I don't mind the work so much as I do the anger that being treated as a slave causes. Another problem is that the more they sit, the less capable they become. But when we say something there are excuses and more excuses. I could try not doing anything, but I couldn't stand living like that. Sometimes if I'm cleaning something she'll say I really don't need to, that no one is going to care. I tell her that I care and that being dirty makes me ashamed. She doesn't grasp that.
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Iwentanon Jan 2014
Our 86 year old tomorrow 87 year old, use to tell me, that when going to her children's she does not expect to do work, she is a guest, but in ourapartment hers and ours, she still thinks and acts like a guest, even though we didn't choose this..The court sold her home to pay for lawyers fees.

We do not know always how other people think, but some people have this idea about aging, (not mine) to sit on their butts and read, something they did not have time for when younger, sometimes they think they are staying out of trouble.

To me and I admit I am weird, I say it is a form of of passive aggression.
Talk about it? Maybe...seek counseling maybe, she is hurting herself.

I would throw dinner into a slow cooker and thank God you do not have to watch her 24/7.
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JS12345 Jan 2014
I feel for you – but you also need to prepare yourself for the fact that things are never ever going to change.
My wife’s mother came to live with us 6 years ago. While she does light housework around the house – she spends her entire life sitting in a chair and watching TV, and occasionally reading. She never goes outside and when this was suggested at one point; she was so upset that she locked herself in her room for 4 months. My wife and I have not had an hour of privacy for the past 6 years.
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nolansk May 2012
How are things going for you? Any new changes? I hope you are coping well. I'd love to hear how you are doing.

Be Well, Sue
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nolansk Mar 2012
YES, sometimes all we can do is VENT. At this point, to be honest, if she is just sitting and not complaining or attacking you, feel kind of fortunate. My Mom is 82, has dementia/Alzheimer's. She had been taking her own medications, but then she started missing doses, and one morning I found pills all over the place, and she was going to take a double dose of her morning medications. I made an appointment with her doctor and asked him frankly what I needed to do. He told me under not circumstances should she have access to ANY medications. My Dad has stuck his head in the sand (he is 80) and has a major D-Diff infection that had him hospitalized for 9 days,and he still is not well, I manage his meds too.Anyway, he said he would take care of it. He talked to her, but when I looked, her meds were still in the same place, and she was reaching for the box to get something out. I didn't say a word, I took the box out of her hand, got the box with the bottles in it,and put them in my room.I've been dispensing her meds ever since,and she seems to be doing somewhat better now that we know she is getting what she's to take, and when she's to take it. Anyway, basically your not going to get her to move unless she want's to. My Mom basically sits most of the day, but does do some laundry,but I do all the cooking, cleaning, and care taking with the help of my son who moved back in with us 2 months ago. She behaves better when he is around for some reason. I'm on disability, so this is the only reason I can do this, otherwise I'd be forced to try to find work, but my COPD is too advanced for me to do much more than I'm doing now. Make time for yourself, somehow. I see a psychologist to make sure I'm on track mentally and doing the right thing for both my parents and myself. Finding this web-site has also been a God send. Hearing others stories, and being able to try to help others helps me help myself, and myself. Gives me good food for thought. Take care I'll be thnking of you Hugs!
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NancyH Mar 2012
Jp, your mother isn't even 80 years old yet right? In this day and age, that's still young enough to be self sufficient. I also wonder along with Luvmydad, why did she ever come to live with your family in the first place? Just diabetes and high BP isn't a crippling, can't live on my own disease, as far as I know. Maybe it's time to tell her to move into an apartment/asst living/retirement place, whatever the case may be. If she gives you a hard time, then tell her she needs to start looking for nursing home with you for her. Tell her that when, not IF, her health hits rock bottom because of her unwillingness to help herself, you're going to need to know which nursing home she prefers.
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